Everything you ever wanted to know about the Aphia data system
Added on 2015-12-15 17:10:24 by Vandepitte, Leen
Ever wondered about the structure and functionalities of Aphia, the database behind e.g. WoRMS? No need to be puzzled anymore, as a paper has recently been published on this subject.
The paper entitled “How Aphia – the platform behind several online and taxonomically oriented databases – can serve both the taxonomic community and the field of biodiversity informatics” is part of the Special Issue “Research tools and methods for marine species acquisition and identification” published by the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering (JMSE).
In this paper, the Aphia database - which is the editing environment behind the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and its more than 80 related global, regional and thematic species databases – is discussed in detail. The authors elaborate on the history and present status of Aphia and position Aphia in the ever growing field of biodiversity informatics by explaining how e.g. taxonomy and traits can be coupled, how it can be linked with biogeographic databases and how the Aphia editing environment can speed up the collection of taxonomic, distribution and traits data. Aphia also relates to other large data systems and projects in different roles: as a data supplier, a data integrator, a quality control tool and a platform for data rescue and infrastructure to host other taxonomic databases.
Over the years, many editors and users have provided feedback on their experiences with the Aphia platform and the available tools and functionalities. Through this, they have contributed to the general improvement of the Aphia platform. The Data Management Team keeps up with the continuous feedback and the rise of new needs in the field of biodiversity informatics. This way, the timely start of new developments or the improvement of existing tools and functionalities can meet these needs and let Aphia further grow and evolve in this field.
The paper is published as Open Access.